Federal sports minister questions funding demand for AFL stadium in Hobart

Home Politics Federal sports minister questions funding demand for AFL stadium in Hobart
Federal sports minister questions funding demand for AFL stadium in Hobart

The federal sports minister has poured cold water on the prospect of the Commonwealth chipping in to fund the proposed new stadium in Hobart, labelling it “a lot to ask”.

Speaking on SEN’s coverage of the test cricket on Saturday, Sports Minister Anika Wells was asked how she felt about a Tasmanian team in the AFL.

“We want one, we want one … and Tassie wants one, and they deserve one,” she said.

“But we don’t think it needs to be conditional on a stadium to get there, no-one else had to do that.”

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has indicated the granting of a 19th team licence to Tasmania was contingent on building a new purpose-built stadium in Hobart.

The current plan to construct a 23,000 seat, roofed stadium at Macquarie Point is estimated to cost around $750 million.

In reaching an in-principle agreement with the AFL, the Tasmanian government said it was willing to contribute around half the cost of the project, while the AFL has committed $15 million.

Both the state government and the AFL were hopeful the Commonwealth would assist with much of the rest, but Ms Wells was unimpressed with the idea.

“375 million bucks for a stadium is a lot to ask,” she told the broadcast.

It leaves the state government in a difficult position of trying to prove to the AFL the building of a stadium is realistic, so that the sporting body will press ahead with putting the proposal to bring Tasmania into the league to a vote of current club presidents.

Woman wearing a blue blouse with a jacket.
Ms Wells told a broadcast on Saturday that “375 million bucks” was “a lot to ask”.(ABC News: Michael Lloyd)

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